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    • The Decline Of the European Gardner
      A while back EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell said “Europe is a garden.” He was fairly widely attacked, but I agree. Some parts are much less of a garden, but Europe is a garden. However, Europe’s status as a garden is based on factors which are no longer true: 1) Vast military superiority. 2) Vast productive superiority 3) Vast technological superiorit […]
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We’re being infiltrated!

There are rumors reports going around the lefty blogosphere that we are being infiltrated by wingnuts.  Apparently “some” liberal blogs are allowing people to post comments and links that don’t come from approved sources.  According to one Self-Appointed Guardian Of Liberal Purity (SAGOLP) even The Confluence was “filled with people defending torture and talking about how Obama was a socialist.”  Another SAGOLP claims we sold Hillary out for a $50,000 shopping spree! (Riverdaughter must have kept it all cuz I never got anything)

It seems that liberal ideas are inferior and can’t compete in the marketplace of ideas.  Even worse, liberals are so weak-minded that they can’t discern the difference between true and false.  Apparently our minds are so open that our brains have fallen out, so when someone says “Obama is a socialist” all of our education and experience is wiped out and we assume it is true.

All is not lost.  Occasionally you’ll see some maroon nut-job brave liberal freedom fighter scream “You’re lying – and that’s a conservative source” before being dragged away by the Secretive Police.  For those who can’t handle freedom of speech there are liberal islands of ideological purity out there that don’t allow dissenting or opposing views.  (They are called “echo chambers.”)

You can defend Left Blogistan too!  Make sure you only get your information from “approved” sources.  Run all your comments through the Meme-analyzer before posting to make sure they aren’t infected with right-wing tropes.  And change your underwear everyday.

Corzine *still* trails Christie by double digits in latest NJ Governor’s race polls

The guy just can’t catch a break.  First, he’s pathetic as a Democratic governor but would probably make a very good Republican one.  Then, he happens to be a former CEO of Goldman-Sachs at a time when that company is quickly becoming the Barad-Dur of Mordor.  And he has to go up against the “moderate Republican” in the fall instead of the foaming-at-the-mouth, uber conservative Republican he was hoping for.  But the thing that must be frosting his crockies right now is that he is trailing that moderate Republican, former US Attorney Chris Christie, by 10 points (on average).

(For those of you who want your fix of schadenfreude this morning, here is another page of polls where Corzine trails– in every one.)

I can’t imagine why 10% of his base would be defecting to a Republican this year…

Could it be the 10% of New Jerseyans who put Hillary over the top in the NJ primary last year who resent Corzine’s arrogant, unilateral decision to give every one of our primary delegates to Obama?  Just a guess.

But it’s about to get worse for Corzine {{smirk!}}.  Because the Independent Party candidate, Chris Daggett, just qualified for public financing.  Daggett is expected to make the race tough for both major party candidates but even tougher for Corzine.  I can’t imagine why.

I was going to vote topless this year at the polls in NJ but that’s because I didn’t think there were any viable third party candidates.


Chris Daggett

Chris Daggett

Granted, I don’t know much about Daggett yet (here’s a blogtalkradio interview with him) but, heck!, he can’t be any worse than a Republican or the Republican who pretends he’s a Democrat.  He’s spent time in the government working in the area of environmental regulation and he’s a big proponent of mass transit, definitely a plus in my books.  So, I’ve decided to throw a few bucks Daggett’s way and see what happens.  Every $1 contributed to Daggett will be matched by $2 in public funds.  Maybe if we pass this around, we can make Corzine sweat or we might even elect an Independent as governor here in the Garden State.  Daggett in Drumthwacket!  It has a nice ring.

Now, Corzine isn’t worried, or so his campaign manager says.  Maggie Moran sent me a video haka yesterday about Obama’s upcoming trip to NJ on Corzine’s behalf.

Obama owes Corzine.  Big time.  (see first youtube video above)  Apparently, SOOOO many people asked for tickets to the Obama rally that they have had to reject a whole bunch of us.  The campaign will be contacting “lucky” rally ticket recipients by phone.  And the rally itself has been moved to a more secure location in Holmdel.  Ahuh.  Well, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the angry email responses the campaign has gotten from its base saying things like “Where’s my vote, JON?!?!” And I’m sure there will be no loyalty oath required to get a ticket.  Actually, I’m surprised I’m still on the email list.  But who knows?  Maybe Corzine will get the crowd he’s hoping for.  Or maybe he’ll get the one he deserves.  Stay tuned…

Monday, Looking for some morning news?


Click on image to see the details

The interesting thing about this graph is that ALL the options seem to include out-of-pocket-caps on annual health care expenses. And that’s new to me — I haven’t seen such caps mentioned in any summary (and I’ve looked for ’em) More information on THAT would be gratefully appreciated!

Kids Recant Abuse Claims After Dad Jailed 20 Years

Tetz, 30, said she doesn’t remember what she told Krause back in 1985, but she remembers Krause buying her ice cream. She said that when she finally read the police reports she was “absolutely sure” the abuse never happened.

“I would have remembered something that graphic, that violent,” Tetz said.

Krugman asks, Is America on its way to becoming a boiled frog?

I started thinking about boiled frogs recently as I watched the depressing state of debate over both economic and environmental policy. These are both areas in which there is a substantial lag before policy actions have their full effect — a year or more in the case of the economy, decades in the case of the planet — yet in which it’s very hard to get people to do what it takes to head off a catastrophe foretold.

And right now, both the economic and the environmental frogs are sitting still while the water gets hotter.

Why America is flunking science

As its Web site attests, CERN has been forced to develop some pretty sophisticated P.R. tools in recent years. Before “Angels & Demons” came out, the institution had to counter widespread but baseless public concerns that its Large Hadron Collider — the source of antimatter in the film — might create black holes that would grow to devour Earth and kill us all. CERN researchers received death threats; lawsuits were filed to stop the collider’s operation. (Granted, the scientists scored a considerable hit when their hilarious YouTube video, the “Large Hadron Rap,” went viral and garnered more than 5 million views.)

The experience of CERN is, more broadly, the experience of science in our culture today. It is simultaneously admired and yet viewed as dangerously powerful and slightly malevolent — an uneasiness that comes across repeatedly in Hollywood depictions.

BostonBoomer helped out today with this list:

Mother of young girl ogled by Obama and Sarkozy is “mad as hell.”

. . . Patriarch Eduardo Tavares, after finally getting around to seeing the famous photo of his daughter from behind, quickly changed his tune from proud papa to furious father.

“My daughter is not a model and she is not a sex symbol,” he told The Post. “That photograph has ruined my whole family.”

Lawmakers reject tax to pay for health care

Republican Senator Judd Gregg said finishing a healthcare bill by Congress’ August recess was “highly unlikely” because the Senate Finance Committee had not yet completed a draft. Senator John Kyl, the Republican whip, said there was “no chance” it would be done before the break.

Kim Jong Il has pancreatic cancer.

North Korea has been raising tension in Asia through missile launches and a nuclear test on May 25 which was met by U.N. sanctions aimed at cutting off it arms trade, one of its few sources of hard cash.

South Korean officials said this military grandstanding was aimed at helping Kim build internal support as he prepares for succession, with his youngest son seen as the likely heir.

North Korea in the post-Kim era

The longer Kim lives and remains in reasonable health, the greater the chance of a smooth transition of power to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, 25. If Jong-un has 15 or 20 years to cement his position, he may be able to continue the Kim dynasty.

Kim junior is also believed to have the backing of Jang Song-thaek, effectively the country’s number 2 leader. Kim Jong-il in April promoted Jang, his 63-year-old brother-in-law, to the powerful National Defense Commission, which many analysts saw as an attempt to establish a mechanism for the transfer of power, with Jang as kingmaker.

Under this scenario, financial market players would watch events in North Korea with interest but not trade dramatically either way. Global powers would seek to ascertain the intentions of the new leadership as it took shape. North Korean policy toward the outside world may not alter much.

Heather Robinson: the savaging of sarah palin

Instead, we got ridiculing of Mrs. Palin’s appearance, of her decades-old participation in a beauty pageant, and even of her children, which was especially cruel. Self-proclaimed “feminists” made a blood sport of hating and dehumanizing her. Personally, I do not agree with all of Governor Palin’s views, such as her absolutist pro-life position. But such vicious hatred, on the part of self-described feminists, was an embarrassment.

Obama orders review of Taliban slayings.

“The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president’s visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday.

“So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up,” Obama said.

I don’t know what “review” means. It sounds weaker than an investigation. But this is a reversal.

Newsweek: Sotomayor is a shoo-in

If she keeps her cool and her answers earnestly and learnedly vague, she is a shoo-in—and perhaps 10 of 40 Republicans will vote for her.

Young people of color are rising up against military recruiters

More than just looking at Hoang and her peers, military recruiters also have unprecedented access to students and youth, particularly in poor neighborhoods. “There are generally more army recruiters on campus than college counselors,” explains Elmer Roldan, fundraising director at Community Coalition (CC) in South Central Los Angeles, “and a more aggressive strategy to militarize them than to prepare them for college.” He also points out that it is young women, and the best and brightest students, that recruiters target.

This post by Marie Coco is a few days old, but it’s really good:

The Unemployed Will Roar

But if anyone’s looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Ooooh, here’s one for conspiracy enthusiasts:

British government under pressure: 13 doctors demand inquest into Dr David Kelly’s death
Tony Blair sensitive to the accusation that he has ‘blood on his hands’

But now a team of 13 specialist doctors has compiled a detailed medical dossier that rejects the Hutton conclusion on the grounds that a cut to the ulnar artery, which is small and difficult to access, could not have caused death.

La Toya Jackson says Michael was murdered.

“I believe Michael was murdered, I felt that from the start,” a tearful La Toya declared to the paper. “Not just one person was involved, rather it was a conspiracy of people.”

. . . .

Meanwhile, another British paper is reporting that Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Michael Jackson’s elder two children, has reached a secret custody agreement with the late icon’s mother — to keep his father away from the kids.

According to the U.K.’s Daily Mirror, lawyers for the two women met secretly. The outcome: Debbie agreed to drop her bid for custody — and receive visitation rights — if Joe Jackson, who Michael claimed had abused him, was not part of their lives.

Police accuse wife of former boxing champ of murdering him

The former junior welterweight champion was apparently strangled with the strap of a purse, which was found at the scene with blood stains, said Milena Saraiva, a spokeswoman for the Pernambuco state civil police.

And (as usual) PLEASE share your news links with us!

Neither Friends Nor Enemies


I’ve noticed two completely opposite and equally wrong ideas floating around lately.  One proposes Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin as teammates running together on the same ticket while the other encourages the idea that they are archenemies.

Hillary Clinton is a loyal Democrat and a political moderate.  On foreign policy she is center-right, on fiscal policy she is a centrist and on social policy she is center-left.  One can speculate that her “real” ideology is somewhat more liberal but her statements and voting record are the evidence we have to go on.

Sarah Palin is a conservative Republican.  Exactly how conservative is hard to tell.  Her public stance on foreign policy mirrors that of John McCain, but prior to being picked at his VP nominee she never really expressed any foreign policy at all.  On fiscal policy her record shows she is a low-tax, small government conservative.  On social issues her views are conservative but she has shown little inclination to enact them into law.

While it is conceivable that Hillary and Sarah could someday work together on some issues or projects, the idea that they would be running mates is pure fantasy.  Last year made clear that Hillary will not leave the Democratic party no matter how badly she is treated, and Sarah would never be welcomed there even if she wished to join.

On the other hand, while it is possible that Hillary and Sarah may one day face each other in a presidential campaign, as of right now they are not rivals.  They are members of opposing parties, but they are not opponents.

So when you see something like this from Time’s interview with Sarah Palin:

At one point during the campaign you said Hillary Clinton whines a little bit too much about being in the public eye. Do you now sort of sympathize with her?
What I said was, it doesn’t do her or anybody else any good to whine about the criticism. And that’s why I’m trying to make it clear that the criticism, I invite that. But freedom of speech and that invitation to constructively criticize a public servant is a lot different than the allowance to lie, to continually falsely accuse a public servant when they have proven over and over again that they have not done what the accuser is saying they did.

it means nothing.  Sarah wasn’t criticizing Hillary.  The interviewer asked the question (misquoting Sarah’s original statement) and Sarah answered.